Stalingrad - 'Gingerbread or the Whip'
8th January 1943: It is increasingly obvious that the situation for the 6th Army inside Stalingrad is hopeless - and the Soviets invite surrender
The Russian phrase knut i pryanik, 'whip or gingerbread', is used to characterise a mix of threats and promises. This was the approach adopted by the Soviet army as they attempted to avoid further losses at Stalingrad. An invitation to surrender was drawn up, to be delivered to the Germans inside the besieged city.
Your encircled troops are in a grave situation. They are suffering from hunger, sickness and cold. The harsh Russian winter is only just beginning: hard frosts, cold winds and snowstorms are still to come, but your soldiers do not have winter uniforms and are living in unsanitary conditions.
The document1 set out the cold facts of the situation - the 6th Army was not going to be rescued and the supply situation was going to get worse:
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